Lactose-free baby food

Baby eating food

by Emily Gilbert |
Updated on

If your baby has lactose intolerance, navigating what food they can eat when it comes to weaning can feel like a minefield, especially if you want to buy shop-bought food.

What does lactose intolerant mean?

"Lactose intolerance (LI) is an intolerance to the sugar found in dairy, and affects 65-70 per cent of the global adult population," explains registered dietitian at Plant Based Health Professionals, Lisa Simon. "Most of us have a post-weaning fall in lactase activity, the enzyme that helps us to digest the milk sugar. This is called lactase non-persistence and symbolises that we no longer have a biological need for milk. LI is different to dairy allergy as the latter is an allergic response to the protein found in dairy."

What are the symptoms of a baby who is lactose intolerant?

Symptoms include bloating, abdominal cramps, flatulence, and diarrhoea. A number of additional problems have also been associated with LI, including failure to thrive in children.

How to handle a lactose intolerantdiet

"There are two ways to approach LI. Dairy can either be removed completely or lactose-free alternatives can be chosen, meaning that dairy can still be consumed as the lactose has been removed," explains Lisa. "If dairy is removed entirely, there are many benefits, especially if soya (as long as there is no soya allergy) is chosen as a replacement to dairy milk. This is because introducing soya at a young age has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer later in life due to the phytoestrogens and can help promote bone health."

"There is no risk to giving soya to male babies, despite the many false claims that it interferes with hormone production. These claims are not backed up by the evidence-base," says Lisa.

Will my baby get enough nutrition?

"If dairy is removed from the diet, there are a number of key nutrients that need special focus," explains Lisa.

"These include calcium, protein, B12, iodine and vitamin D. All of these nutrients can be found in fortified plant milks and the absorption of calcium is the same as from dairy. Not all plant milks are fortified with iodine so the nutritional label should be checked. Lower protein milks such as oat and almond are not suitable for babies as they are too low in protein; soya is the best choice. There are many other foods that contain these nutrients when babies are ready to be weaned if the parents has made the decision to either keep dairy out of the diet or to raise their child on a vegan diet."

For more information on feeding your baby in the first year, check out the Plant Based Health factsheet.

Will my baby grow out of their lactose intolerance?

"Unlike cow’s milk protein allergy, it is unlikely a baby will grow out of LI," Lisa says. "Foods containing lactose can be challenged in a set way and this is best done under the supervision of a paediatric dietitian. Small amounts of lactose may be tolerated, for example, hard cheese contains less lactose than milk so small quantities may not result in symptoms. However, gastrointestinal symptoms are likely to occur if larger quantities are eaten."

Lactose-free baby food

To help you out, we've rounded up some of the best lactose-free baby food available to buy.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections.


For Aisha Moroccan Chicken Tagine1 of 10

For Aisha Moroccan Chicken Tagine

Vegetables are combined with halal chicken, sumptuous apricots and aromatic spices for a super tasty, traditional North African dish.

Suitable for: 7 months+

Heinz Sweet Potato & Tender Chicken2 of 10

Heinz Sweet Potato & Tender Chicken

Great for younger babies, try this smooth blend of vegetables with rice and chicken.

Suitable for: 4 months+

Hipp Organic Banana Rice Breakfast3 of 10

Hipp Organic Banana Rice Breakfast

Perfect for breakfast, this lactose-free baby food consists of a smooth blend of bananas, apple juice and rice.

Suitable for: 4 months+

Ella's Kitchen Bananas, Strawberries, Vanilla & Coconut Milk Rice Pudding4 of 10

Ella's Kitchen Bananas, Strawberries, Vanilla & Coconut Milk Rice Pudding

Dairy-free and made with coconut milk, this pouch from Ella’s Kitchen is stuffed with bananas and strawberries. Stand in hot water or squeeze into a saucepan to warm up.

Suitable for: 7 months+

Review: “My little one loves strawberries and bananas so this was a real hit being mixed up with coconut milk and vanilla. We both had a try and loved it.”

Kiddylicious Blueberry Wafers5 of 10

Kiddylicious Blueberry Wafers

Gently flavoured with subtle hints of real blueberry, each Wafer is the perfect size for little hands to hold and are crumb-free. Also comes in Raspberry, Banana and Strawberry flavours.

Suitable for: 6 months+

Review: ‘My baby loves these and are great to keep some with you to keep your little one busy. Would recommend to give them a try.’

BEAR Pure Fruit & Veg Paws Mango & Carrot 6 of 10

BEAR Pure Fruit & Veg Paws Mango & Carrot

1 of your 5 a day, these 100 per cent pure fruit and veg paw shapes are made from carrot, apple, pear and mango with no added sugar or preservatives. 

Suitable for: 12 months+

Review: “We enjoy these snacks especially for on-the-go as they are made solely from fruit and has easy packaging to carry in pockets or bags.”

Petits Filous Dairy Free Raspberry 7 of 10

Petits Filous Dairy Free Raspberry

A dairy-free alternative made from almonds, these strawberry yoghurts can be enjoyed by the whole family. 

Suitable for: 7 months+

Review: “I bought these to try for my 10-month-old who has a dairy allergy. He loves them! It's great to have a dairy-free alternative designed for kids containing vitamin D. I'll add I'm also on a dairy-free diet due to breastfeeding, and there are not many dairy-free products I like. But these are actually moreish!”

Piccolo Organic Yellow & Go smoothie8 of 10

Piccolo Organic Yellow & Go smoothie

Your little one will love this smooth blend of exotic flavours including banana, coconut milk, butternut squash and mangoes. 

Suitable for: 6 months+

Review: “Brought this for my little one, we have tried a fair bit of food but this went down a treat. She couldn’t wait for more and loved it. Really nice smell, easy to feed and packaged well and secure. Really convenient to feed too.”

For Aisha Cambodian Fish & Coconut Curry9 of 10

For Aisha Cambodian Fish & Coconut Curry

This protein-packed recipe combines cod, onion, garlic, cumin and mint for a flavoursome meal for your youngster.

Suitable for: 1-3 years

Kiddylicious Raspberry & Beetroot Melty Buttons10 of 10

Kiddylicious Raspberry & Beetroot Melty Buttons

Encourage self feeding with these rice wafer buttons with a hint of raspberry and beetroot. They’re gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and egg-free with no added salt. 

Suitable for: 9 months+

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Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us
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Mother & Baby is dedicated to ensuring our information is always valuable and trustworthy, which is why we only use reputable resources such as the NHS, reviewed medical papers, or the advice of a credible doctor, GP, midwife, psychotherapist, gynaecologist or other medical professionals. Where possible, our articles are medically reviewed or contain expert advice. Our writers are all kept up to date on the latest safety advice for all the products we recommend and follow strict reporting guidelines to ensure our content comes from credible sources. Remember to always consult a medical professional if you have any worries. Our articles are not intended to replace professional advice from your GP or midwife.